core web vitals
By Carrie-ann | Dec 01, 2021 | SEO, Search Engine Optimisation

Do core web vitals affect your ranking?

When talking about SEO core web vitals are at the heart of almost every conversation right now. And for good reason. They can, after all, completely change a site’s ranking fortunes, both positively and negatively.

Wait, what are we talking about here?

Google always wants to ensure that it is directing its users to web pages that are relevant and user friendly. So, the search giant has rolled out an update to its algorithm that take three very specific measurements into account. These measurements all relate to either user interaction or and/or page speed.

In short, you need to be paying extra close attention to:

1. How quickly your content is loading
2. How quickly your audience can interact with your content
3. How visually stable your content is

Now, after every search update, be it large or small, site owners and optimisation experts start to take an even closer look at their ranking position on key search engine results pages (SERPs).

And, yes, it can be easy to assume that any changes are a consequence of an update.

But as core web vitals clearly aren’t the only factor that is likely to affect the results delivered by your hard work in SEO, I’m here today to give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about how this update may or may not be responsible for your ranking position.

How do I determine whether core web vitals are positively or negatively affecting my rankings?

If you have experienced a sudden drop in traffic, don’t be too quick to assume that it is an issue relating to this update. In terms of SEO core web vitals form only part of the optimisation process and there are myriad other factors that could affect your ranking position, all of which are arguably more likely.


Well, Google started the rollout of this update gradually throughout July and August 2021. As it was implemented on a per page basis, site owners would have experienced a gradual decline in traffic rather than a sudden drop. This also means that any positive effects will also become apparent on a gradual basis.

Do updates happen automatically?

The good news is that all updates will happen on an automatic basis.

And, yes, I heard that audible sigh of relief!

Search console will play a key role in determining the best course of action for your digital strategy, so ensure that you are paying close attention to what the data is telling you. But do bear in mind that search console data will be delayed by 28 days.

So, what do I need to keep in mind?

Although you may see that a big update has been rolled out at the same time your rankings tanked or soared, it is always difficult to connect these changes directly to the aforementioned update.

Coincidences happen all the time in the world of SEO and it is simply unhelpful to work on assumptions. Instead, you need both hard data and an open mind. And if you’ve got both of those, you’re already on the right track!